Daily Notes | Jon Rauch to Close for Mets?

Yesterday I went to the Giants at the Mets game. I’ll get to Jon Rauch in a second, but it was the worst display of professional baseball I have ever seen from the stands. Ike Davis who can’t get a hit to save his life at Citi Field was 1 for 28 at home heading into his last at-bat. He sent a slow dribbler just past the pitcher and reached for an infield hit. It was actually a hit good enough to drive in a run, and maybe drive up Davis’ morale. That is until he got picked off of first base with a guy on second a couple pitches later. That likely drove his state of mind right back to 1 for 28 mode. David Wright shortly thereafter was thrown out trying to steal third and the Mets had gone from two on with none out to none on and two outs. All of this should have never been because Aubrey Huff had made an error on Wright’s ball. It was like watching little league. 

It got worse. Frank Francisco came into the 9th for the Mets to protect a three run lead. The easiest mathematical save situation was never more difficult. Three of the first four hitters reached including Buster Posey who came into score. That was it for Francisco. Tim Byrdak came in and got a lefty for two outs. Terry Collins made his final change to bring Rauch into the ballgame. Heading into the game Rauch had allowed three base runners in 8 innings. Rauch faced Brandon Belt who promptly popped up behind shortstop and center field. The pop up ended up dropping, and it was ruled one of the saddest hits you’ll ever see to tie a game. The three run lead had been blown. 

It was not Rauch’s fault in the least, but Francisco did let those runners on. Here is where the two players numbers stand after yesterday’s debauchery.

Rauch: 8.1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA
Francisco:  6.1 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 8 K, 8.53 ERA

This was Terry Collins after the game: “I’m going to talk to Frankie tomorrow. I don’t like to do too much right after the game is over. He’s not happy with what happened. Remember, we are as new at this as anybody else. When he pitched as well as he did earlier in the season, it could be something. I don’t know what it is. But I want him to understand [closing] is why he’s here. He fell behind today in counts, and that hurt him. 
The trust issue came when I said ‘here’s the baseball. Go stop this.’ He’s been scuffling, and hasn’t been making pitches. I just said ‘I want someone in there who I hope will make the right pitch.’ I know Frankie is going to be fine. Again, it’s early in the season and he’s pitched so well. I think the inconsistency of the kinds of games we’ve played where he hasn’t gotten out there three days a week to get comfortable. I’m sure that has a lot to do with it.”

  • Philip Humber was great and the Mariners, once again, were not. Let’s not take anything away from Humber because he was technically facing a Major League team, but Seattle is currently among the three worst AL teams in average, OPS, and runs. They were last in 2010 and 2011. 
  • The Red Sox by themselves were equally as bad as the Mets and Giants on Saturday. This was the win probability graph. From a fantasy standpoint, how can you trust Alfredo Aceves? For deeper leagues, Marlon Byrd reduces the value of Darnell McDonald significantly. Let’s not talk about the Sox anymore. 
  • The Yankees meanwhile are getting reenforcements. Joba Chamberlain will be out of a walking boot soon. He could rejoin the team in June. Andy Pettitte was encouraged in his third minor league start.
  • Matt Wieters hit his fifth home run last night. Fangraphs is asking if he’s arrived yet.
  • Matt Kemp hit his 8th home run. Nobody is asking if he’s arrived yet.
  • Carlos Ruiz has sat out two straight games for the Phillies with a sore wrist. Exactly what the Phillies need – an everyday player hurt.